Texas man sentenced for using stolen identities to collect fraudulent tax refunds in excess of $500,000
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Oluwabunmi Idris Odu-Onikosi, 29, of Dallas, Texas, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for using stolen identities to obtain fraudulent federal income tax refunds, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Odu-Onikosi repeatedly and fraudulently obtained personal identifying information from a variety of individuals, including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. He utilized that information to create and prepare fraudulent income tax returns and false earnings statements containing fictitious wage, withholding, gambling winnings, and other fabricated information.
Odu-Onikosi filed more than 400 false federal individual income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. These returns fraudulently claimed tax refunds in excess of $3,000,000. Odu-Onikosi received fraudulent tax refund payments in excess of $500,000 in the form of United States Treasury Checks and direct deposits to bank accounts and prepaid debit cards maintained and controlled by Odu-Onikosi.
“Today’s legal proceedings bring Mr. Oluwabunmi Odu-Onikosi to justice,” noted Thomas M. Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Washington, D.C. Field Office. “Mr. Odu-Onikosi violated the privacy of people, used this to cheat our tax system and pocket ill-gotten gains. This ID theft prosecution of Mr. Odu-Onikosi in West Virginia marks a milestone in the prosecution as the fraudulent tax returns he filed electronically were received by the IRS Enterprise Computing Center located in Martinsburg. This is a very serious crime throughout our nation; those committing crimes such as this should take notice that you will receive a harsh sentence when you are convicted of this crime in the Northern District of West Virginia. My office will continue to work with the United States Attorney’s Office to see that these offenses are investigated and prosecuted to assure compliance with our nation’s tax laws.”
Odu-Onikosi pled guilty in January 2016 to one count of “Wire Fraud.” As part of the sentenced imposed today, he was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $539,899.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Cogar prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation led the inquiry with assistance from the New Orleans, Louisiana Police Department and the United States Secret Service.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.